Thursday, October 19, 2006

 

13% of American Voters are libertarians

A new study by the Cato Institute concludes that roughly 13 percent of U.S. voters are libertarian or strongly libertarian-leaning in their beliefs.

Comments:
Now, why don't they act on it?

Is it that the costs outweigh the benefits or the two-party problem...
 
No instant runoff voting, right Jenna?
 
Chris,

Do you mean "why isn't the libertarian party getting more votes?"

If so, I'm sure Travis' answer is part of it. But I also wonder if it isn't because the Libertarian Party isn't a little extreme for most little l libertarians. After all, the Libertarian Party wants to get rid of all property taxes and the federal income tax not to mention just about all government programs/regulations outside of protecting property rights.

I couldn't find a copy of the survey questions asked, but I seriously doubt most of that 13% would endorce those policies.

How many libertarians would?
 
Chris,

Do you mean "why isn't the libertarian party getting more votes?"

If so, I'm sure Travis' answer is part of the reason why LP gets so few votes in national elections. But I also wonder if it isn't because the Libertarian Party isn't a little extreme for most "libertarian" tastes.

After all, the Libertarian Party wants to get rid of all property taxes and the federal income tax not to mention just about all government programs/regulations outside of protecting property rights.

I couldn't find a copy of the survey questions asked, but I seriously doubt most of that 13% would endorce those policies.

How many libertarians would? Hayek probably wouldn't. Milton Friedman probably wouldn't.
 
I guess I would support a more mainstream libertarian as a lesser of inevitable evils. But does any politician really want a leaner government? I'm not even 100% sure that I would if I were a politician. I might go mad with my moderate amount of power.
 
The two-party system is part of the problem, definitely. Without IRV or some sort of proportional system, most libertarians vote for either Republicans (usually) or Democrats (sometimes).

I have to agree that if even a very moderate libertarian ran for office, I would support that person. It would be so much of an improvement over the "government must have a finger in every pie" mentality that exists in other representatives that I'd be giddy with excitement.

And, Travis, I'd like to think that if you were in government, your power-mania would manifest itself in some way other than bigger government programs. Maybe impassioned filibusters or wild pork-cutting amendments? Perhaps a few too many dinners with the alcohol, tobacco and firearms lobbyists? But suddenly becoming a fan of the leviathan. Surely not!
 
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